The idea of work-life balance has been on my mind. The pandemic has transformed the conventional notion of work and personal life, and millions of individuals now work remotely. With younger generations placing immense value on their personal time, work-life balance has become a significant consideration in career decisions.
As a business owner, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to balance work and personal life. But as #Strella client Chad Harvey puts it, “work-life balance is a lie.” Chad suggests that life and work are inseparable, and the key to happiness is finding stability, not balance.
A Work-Life Integration Technique
I agree with Chad’s perspective, and I believe work-life integration is the best strategy. In this TikTok video, I share my approach to work-life integration.
I like to start my day early and get things done before the rest of the world awakens. That gives me quiet, focused time to knock out projects that require high-level thinking.
Although I work a lot of hours, I weave them into my lifestyle. I exercise and take a relaxation break in my home sauna in the afternoon. Then, I go back to work for a few hours in the evening. I have several clients on the West Coast, which means my typical “quitting time” is later than when most people on the East Coast call it a day. I’m OK with that because that’s when my clients need me. It’s all part of running a business.
I also work outside my normal on-the-job hours when circumstances call for it. Social media never sleeps, so it’s not uncommon for me to be summoned to my phone or desk to handle something urgent — whether day, night, or over the weekend. I’m at peace with those occasions because that’s what a social media business requires.
Planned — and Unplanned — Time-Outs Help Keep Sanity Intact
I believe taking breaks is one of the most important ways to achieve harmony and ensure mental and physical well-being. And while it may seem counterproductive to take breaks when there’s loads of work to be done, I’ve found it replenishes my energy and makes me more effective.
I recently took my annual vacation to Montego Bay. That time off is crucial for me. Note that I put in some work during the mornings while I’m away, but I don’t mind doing so. I still have most of my day to enjoy the beach and my time with my husband.
And when I’m in my home office, my cats provide some impromptu breaks every day. Those who own pets can attest that they add an entertaining aspect to the experience of working from home. To add a touch of humor, here’s a brief video showcasing our feline friends as they go about their antics while I work.
Create Your Own Rhythm
Our work and personal lives are intertwined, and each of us must find ways to manage competing priorities. We have to embrace the methods that will best help us reach our goals AND fit our lifestyle. Perhaps we can’t achieve a 50/50 balance all of the time, but by consciously taking control of how we manage our time, we can ensure we won’t feel deprived of a personal life while succeeding professionally.
What is your take on work-life balance?